18 July 2015

2015 BBM True Heart Women's Pro Wrestling (Read/Skip to the End for a CONTEST!)

I am continuing my feature on the BBM True Heart Japanese Women's Pro Wrestling card sets with a look at the 2015 product. First up is the box lid, which follows the same pattern as the 2013 and 2014 products, with several rows of some of the more photogenic stars on the wrestling circuit. There are also a few base card previews and some information about what's in the box. It's kind of hard to see in the scan, but the flap of the box features a cat character who also gets a spot in the set. I haven't quite figured out if the cat is an actual wrestler or a mascot of some kind. The cat also shows up on the flap of the 2014 box and I haven't actually gone downstairs to check but it might show up in 2013, too

I unfolded the full bottom of the box to show what the sides look like, with rows of additional wrestler photos on the left and right of the box. It also contains a checklist and shows some small photos of the subsets and autograph inserts that can be pulled from the product.

The packs themselves replicate the box top design, while the back of the pack has a small summary of the set checklist, some bar codes, and some information about the BBM (Baseball Magazine) company. On to the base set!

The base cards make up the first 113 cards in the 120-card set. While 2013's set also featured dual images, that set just replicated the pose from the larger photo onto the smaller photo. 2014 moved to a single photo for each wrestler. In 2015 each wrestler gets two different pictures on the front of their card. I don't know a lot about any of these wrestlers, but I tried to grab a bunch of the most interesting photos for scanning. One thing I was looking for specifically was prop usage, like that frying pan wielded by Sakura Hirota in the upper left. The Peter Pan-looking girl in the upper right is called YumiRi, I believe, although I can't find much about her that makes sense to me when Google-translated into English. Some wrestlers have a lot of information out there and some don't. I also don't know a lot about the wrestler on the lower-left, but she certainly has an 'early 2000's Christina Aguilera' look going on, so she gets included in the scans. In the lower right is a masked wrestler known as Command Bolshoi. She's got a big match coming up soon, according to the Facebook groups I follow.

The backs of the cards feature action photos and biographical information such as birth date, height, weight, pro wrestling debut date, and some other stuff I can only guess at. Each also has a little paragraph about the wrestler pictured. I have no idea what to make of that cone-shaped dress in the upper left photo. The wrestler profiles say that she is known for her cosplay, so maybe that is a spin on some cartoon character or something? And YumiRi is pretty young, but apparently she isn't above putting the hurt on someone. Many of her pictures feature her making that symbol with her fingers, so I'm guessing it's her signature move.

Aja Kong is the wrestler in the upper left here. I am not sure what she keeps in that metal box, but it was an interesting enough prop that I felt like scanning it here. She wrestled in some WWF events and recently signed on for a stint with another American promotion, Shimmer Women Athletes. The panda in the upper right is named Erin, but it's hard to find much of anything on the internet by searching for just that. She apparently also goes by Eri Wakamatsu. I still didn't find much, but there are videos of a few of her matches out there. Akira Rin is the wrestler in the lower left with the TKO gloves. Most searches for her bring up a bunch of anime fanfic, so I don't know much about her. The woman with the American flag is Mizuki Endo, who also wrestles as a character named Eiger. She was seemingly born in Japan, and I am not really sure how the flag plays into her gimmick.

Some of the cards feature three-photo progressions that show a wrestling move being performed. I don't think I'd like to be tossed down on that metal box that Aja Kong uses as a prop. Nice to see those MMA gloves being put to work. In watching these matches it's hard to believe that wrestlers don't get hurt more. Some of their kicks, punches, and aerial moves don't seem to leave a lot of room for error.

In the upper left of this next scan is Fairy Nihonbashi, who I've seen in a couple of matches. She uses her wand to control other wrestlers, although it seems particularly tough wrestlers are able to shake off the effects and then punch her in the face. She did post this on her blog the other day, so you know that Fairy-land is a pretty wild place to live:

The masked wrestler in the upper right is Police Woman. She does a lot of saluting. I am not sure if Police Woman is her only character or if she wrestles under another name as well. The enthusiastic-looking woman in the lower left is Ryo Mizunami, and the serious-looking gal on the right is Michiko Miyagi.

Those two cards on the top close out my scans for the base card subset. In the upper left is Tomoko Watanabe. I included her because she looks a lot like one of my nieces. She's a super cute little gal, and she has a big smile. Ray is the masked alter ego of another wrestler, Lin Byron. After the base subset comes a three-card (114-116) subset featuring prominent wrestling tag teams.

Following the tag team subset is another three-card subset (117-119) for notable wrestlers who retired during the previous year. The wrestlers in this subset are Sachie Abe, Tomoka Nakagawa, and Meari Naito. And closing things out at the end is a checklist featuring Mio Shirai, a popular wrestler who is supposedly retiring this year. She wrestles for several different promotions, and one of the advertised draws of this product is that her autographs would be split up evenly between cards featuring her in the costume she wears for each promotion. The checklist shows all four in one picture.

Copious amounts of colored ribbon appear to be a fixture for retirement ceremonies. I've seen matches that start with a smaller amount of ribbon, too. I am not 100% why, but it certainly is colorful. The back of the checklist looks about like you'd expect it to.

I couldn't leave the base set without scanning a few horizontal cards. They seem to mostly feature sitting or lying down poses. The first one up there is Mio Shirai. Next is that cat-costumed wrestler. In the lower left is Yappe-Man No. 3, who looks like a masked Mario Brother Sister. And finally is a card from the Tag Team subset.

The backs of the horizontal cards follow the horizontal format, allowing for larger pictures. Notice what appears to be the Ninja Turtle Leonardo in the lower-left of the scan. I have no idea what is going on there, but I bet it was an entertaining match. I guess the cat is an actual wrestler. Who knew? I can't imagine how warm it would be to wrestle in that suit. Not to mention it would be impossible to see anything.

Boxes of this year's offering usually have 6 autographs inserted. I've opened more 2015 than I have any other year, so I've got quite a few autographs to show. You can see that many wrestlers add inscriptions and doodles to their autograph cards, putting US sports figures to shame in comparison. The photos used on the autograph cards are the same as the ones on the base cards. Sometimes the background shot from the base card is used, and sometimes the background shot is used. The colored borders tend to match up with the costume the wrestler is wearing.

The autographs are serially-numbered on the backs. Most are numbered to around # / 90 copies, but that can vary by a few. The official checklist has the print runs for individual cards listed on it. Most of the wrestlers on the checklist signed for the set, with only three listed as having no autographs in the set. Even the Tag Teams and Hall of Fame (retired) wrestlers have autograph print runs listed.

One wrestler who goes all out on her cards is KANNA. She drew a picture on most of her cards in addition to her signature. Police Woman draws a picture of her mask along with her name. And you'll see the Wave inscription on several autographs because that is the name of one of the wrestling promotions. The wrestler in the lower left is the unmasked identity of Ray. Most wrestler with more than one identity sign cards for both, often in different styles and with different names.

I don't know why I got just five autos in this box, but I did. I guess it's just how collation goes sometimes. I'm not sure what that critter drawn on Shoko Nakajima's card is, but I think it wants a kiss.

This is one of the most recent boxes I opened, and I believe all of the autographs are doubles. Fortunately it is a pretty good batch of doubles. I got another doodle by KANNA; this time it is a candy cane. As far as current popularity goes I kind of have to rely on the message board guy who lives in Japan, goes to the shows, and socializes with the wrestlers. He seemed impressed by this group.

The final box I opened had these four autographs plus a couple of things I hadn't pulled before, which I'll show off later. Kurumi, the wrestler in the upper right, held the ICExInfinity Championship for three months earlier this year.

Here is what the backs of the autograph cards look like. It's basically a standard statement of authenticity, a serial number, and a simple copyright line. You can also see clearly that the autograph cards are all embossed with a BBM logo in the lower corner.

Here are the two things I pulled that I haven't seen before. The first is a Polaroid-style candid photo that has been signed. The ink at the bottom is smeared pretty badly, but there's no helping that, and I am unlikely to get a clean one unless I pull it myself. There are at least two of them on eBay right now, but the seller wants $35 apiece for them. For that price I could almost get another box of cards. Maybe if a copy popped up featuring a wrestler that I really like it would be worth it. This photo features Sonoko Kato, who has been a professional wrestler dating back to 1995. She has held a few titles, but it looks like most of them were held early in her career.

The other card is just a base autograph, but I have never seen a vertical-format autograph from the set. The forum guy who has a complete set scanned his set in, and it looks like there are only two wrestlers with vertical autographs (along with two tag teams), so this is atypical in that respect. I guess the designer just wanted to see if it could be done. The wrestler pictured is Moeka Haruhi, who has a pretty robust Wikipedia page. She was targeted by a persistent stalker who was eventually arrested and was the first professional athlete to pass the weather forecasting exam, which I assume means she got some kind of certificate in meteorology.

I had to scan the backs of those cards, too, since they are different from the rest. The photo is an actual photo from a camera. To show the print run they just printed off a label with the BBM logo and set name, the wrestler's name, and a serial number and stuck that to the back of the picture. The vertical autograph carries the vertical format to the back of the card as well; it is just formatted a little differently to fit the space.


Now it is time for my blog's first contest. It is going to be a relatively simple affair. Anyone who comments on this post will gain entry to the contest. You can gain one additional entry by promoting this contest on your blog and posting the link to your post in the comments below, should you have one. The deadline for entry is the night of Saturday, July 25th. I'll probably post an official end to the contest when I wake up on Sunday. Any entries that get in ahead of my post will be counted.


Once I tally up the entries I will randomize the list 4 times using random.org. I will post the list in a new post here on my blog and use that to determine the winners.

The person at the top of the list will receive a full base set of 2015 BBM True Heart cards. I'll probably try to pad out whatever container I ship it in with other cards from my collection that I think the winner might like.

In honor of my recent streak of winning prizes by placing last in contests, I will also send a prize to the person appearing at the bottom of the list. This prize will be a couple of my duplicate 2015 BBM True Heart autographs, along with a stack of other cards from my collection that I will try to tailor to the winner's interests.

And that's it. If these prizes interest you, comment below. If you believe in giving others a sporting chance and in getting another entry for yourself, go ahead and promote the contest, too.


  1. A base set of these? Probably the wackiest prize in the history of card blogging. Damn I really want to win. These cards are awesome. Why hasn't someone put Japanese women wrestling on TV over here? I haven't watched two seconds of wrestling since Bruno Sammartino retired but I'd watch this!

  2. dude. some of those gals are messed up. They truly live a little outside what we would consider the norm.
    thanks for the scans. way better than the latest Panini product any day.

  3. Oh man, I want to enter this contest.. but I think I'd be scared to have these cards sent to me. I'd have to keep them sealed up tight.

  4. That's really cool of you! I bought a pack a few years ago at a WrestleCon, but haven't seen them sold in the US since.

    Also, Osaka the cat looks awesome! And she probably does wrestle in it; if you haven't seen them before (or even if you have and want a laugh), look up CP Munk and Colt Cabunny.

  5. This is pretty cool, I don't think I know any of them (maybe a couple) but this would be sweet to have.

    1. http://royalcardreview.blogspot.com/2015/07/Regular-Program.html

      I just blinged your blog. Eh, sounded better than pimping it... in theory.

  6. When I finally take a trip across the Pacific... I will definitely stock up on these. Your collection of autographs are EPIC... even if the clown totally freaks me out. The YumiRi card totally cracks me up, b/c she looks like she could be one of my middle school students.

  7. I these kind of sets are really cool and I think they would actually do pretty well her especially the autographs.

    I promoted your contest on my blog:

  8. Last night, in an almost subliminal blurb, AXS-TV flashed through upcoming features and one of them was Japanese Pro wrestling! If they are smart they'll include the ladies.

    And, yes, I was watching the Matchbox Twenty concert. Sue me. ;-)

  9. I desperately want lots of those cards. Also, I think I'm in love with...um, I can't actually read her name, but she's wearing pink and waving at me. The cat suits are kinda also doing it for me.

  10. I'll take a shot if there's still time. I only have 5 wrestling cards in my collection, 4 of which I got when they were used as packing materials. (although still in toploaders!)

  11. Okay everyone, I am closing entry into the contest now. I will randomize the winners and make the announcement sometime later today. Thanks for all the participation and good luck!